Traditional or Contemporary: Which Front Door Style is Right For You

The front door of a house says a lot. It is the first impression visitors have when arriving at your home, and quickly communicates your personality and style aesthetic. You want the door to be inviting, to match the exterior of the house, and to suit your personal tastes. Of course, you also want the door to be durable and weather-resistant.

Let’s start with materials. Wooden doors have traditionally been used for entryways, but they have one major flaw. Wood warps when exposed to the elements, and the paint or varnish used to seal the door is prone to peeling and cracking. A lot of care is required to maintain the integrity and beauty of a wood door. If that’s unappealing to you, maybe consider fiberglass or steel doors instead. Low maintenance, weather resistance, and durability are all major benefits to these doors. On top of that, fiberglass and steel doors both come in many beautiful styles and design elements to match personal taste. Traditional doors are more commonly made of hardwood than contemporary ones, but both styles are available in wood, steel, or fiberglass.

Now that you’ve established the ideal material for your new door, let’s talk style. Essentially, you have two overarching styles: traditional and contemporary. Within those two broad categories are so many design choices it’ll make your head spin! Where to start? Well, consider the design of your home’s exterior. Is your home a mid-century modern, a beachy craftsman bungalow, a farmhouse, or a McMansion? Do you live in a new-build, a historic home, or something in between? Is privacy an issue, or is your nearest neighbor miles away? All of these factors can influence which door looks the best.

Traditional doors are just that: traditional looking. Curved lines, raised panels, and a hint of old-timey Victorian elegance. Some have ornate leaded glass, whereas others are solid and lack any side lights or glass panels. Contemporary doors, on the other hand, have much cleaner lines, simpler designs, and often a more geometric feel. They exude a pared-down elegance, and some even have a funky, industrial vibe.

Both styles of doors can have clear, leaded, or colored glass, to let in plenty of natural light; they can also be completely solid if privacy is an issue. Both styles also vary in their details, allowing you to find the perfect door to match your home and taste.

With so many options available, do your research and compare the two styles to see which you prefer. You may be surprised by what you find!

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